What if Everyone Has the Potential to Wield Magic?
There is a powerful harmony and expansive presence to the Universe far beyond humanity’s ordinary perceptions. Thus, The Soulstealer War is crafted to not only entertain, but also to inspire an understanding of true magic, the cosmos and immortality. As one book reviewer observes astutely, the work seeks to “transcend its foundations and shake the very rafters of existence!”
The Soulstealer War introduces the reluctant wizard, Kenneth McNary, who receives the “gift” of magic. Why reluctant? Each time he accesses the power, the energy expenditure diminishes his life and his essence. He is the moth inexorably drawn to the flame, and having escaped with a singed wing, is compelled to repeat the action until dead. Magic, like power, has an addictive quality, and though humans can pursue one thing above all others, such singular behavior is destructive.
Gift, magic, power and energy – what does this nomenclature have in common? Is magic a journey into the arcane, or the product of an advanced course in theoretical physics? Perhaps, it is both and neither. The “magic” under discussion is not stage illusion, sleight of hand, or any chicanery that humanity indulges in as folly. Neither does it concern witches flying on broomsticks and turning people into frogs. Spirituality is relevant to magic, but in contrast, religion is not. Traditional Judeo-Christian constructs of the Devil and God must be cast aside.
Magic does have aspects of the miraculous. We can perceive data for which there is no obvious source, influence events without obvious cause, and experience the mystic without obvious explanation. How are these propositions any different than fairytale magic? Years ago, I gave an interview for a newspaper entitled “Magic: Is it fantasy or science?” The content therein is an apt beginning.
As an introduction, start with a seemingly simple example from science. Hydrogen, listed first on the Periodic Table of Elements, is arguably the most abundant element in the Universe, commonly occurring with an atomic composition of one proton in the nucleus and one electron orbiting outside. All good so far, but stir the cauldron. Staying with hydrogen, and without resorting to a physics lecture, please accept that humans can determine to within very accurate probabilities the electron’s position at a “past” moment in space-time. To do so, the observation will impact the electron, and consistent with Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle, a concurrent measurement of a complementary variable such as the electron’s momentum will be problematic. If we now posit that the proton is the size of a basketball, then the electron would be a pinpoint. Furthermore, on average that pinpoint electron would be miles away from the basketball proton. Do you grasp the paradox? Our world of solid matter is mostly empty space with interacting energies and electromagnetic fields. We are all phantoms!
Now churn the cauldron further with Louis de Broglie and Wave-Particle Duality. Suppose every quantum entity may be characterized as both a particle and a wave. Matter and energy, so which is it? Moreover, “information” is exchanged in these quantum systems, even if practically undecipherable to our limited capabilities. Electrons quantum leap from one energy state to another, thereby releasing photons. Billions of neutrinos with almost zero mass are passing through us each second at light speed (or only slightly slower). Finally, there is quantum weirdness as demonstrated in the infamous Double Slit Experiment and alternatively associated with Schrodinger’s Cat. I will spare you these details, but in addition to affecting the quantum system through our observatory action, experimental evidence supports the conclusion that a nonlocal mechanism exists for faster than light information exchange regardless of distance between entangled waves/particles. Thus, under the right circumstances, humans may be able to guide reality’s hand and access a cosmic communication superhighway unconstrained by time! These abilities sound an awful lot like magic.
And such magic, like science, also has rules. For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Cause and effect; something does not arise from nothing. How do we discover and comprehend these rules? Unfortunately, the magic source code may be concealed so well, that save for rare exceptions, humanity may never unlock the spellbook. It might also be the case that if a human unravels the means to gaze upon that knowledge, then like the observer of quantum uncertainty who forces the wave function of possible outcomes to collapse into a single actuality, that individual’s inalienable brush with magic must also precipitate irrevocable alterations.
So if magic does not require a bargain with the Devil, what is the harm? Maybe humans currently lack the proper configuration to control such power. Our conscious instinct for survival is strong. Our subconscious is an even deeper safeguard. Why are human myths and religions replete with tales of dire ends to those who challenge the gods…those who seek a precipitous rise above their natural station? There is an ancient parable about The Four Who Went to Paradise. Yes, this is classical religion, but the message is instructive. The four most worthy and scholarly sages of their era would be permitted to visit Heaven. Holy men were chosen who were past their midlife, had already reared families and who had long studied the wisdom of the Torah. In short, these were the best of the best that humanity had to offer. Upon reaching Paradise, one of them died immediately. Another went insane. The third was unable to understand the experience and became a heretic. The fourth achieved what the others could not, he briefly went to Paradise and returned unharmed to Earth, but was forever marked.
Evolution is not a concept that humans dwell upon amidst the daily grind. Indeed, the “noise” of modern life is antithetical to all things magic. There is also no guarantee that evolution will produce a transformative outcome, as survival does not equate with metaphysical progress. And yet, whether we choose to notice its presence or remain willfully oblivious, biological change occurs all around us through mutation, natural selection, and genetic drift. But are there also far more subtle evolutionary pathways? Can a unique combination of knowledge, intuition, intent and receptive consciousness open the magician’s lair?
My definitive answer is the same response that I provided to my youngest daughter, who at the ripe old age of ten asked before bedtime, “Dad, is magic real?” After a long pause debating the implications, I finally replied, “Yes honey, magic is real and it’s very dangerous. True magic comes from within, and it has consequences. We’ll talk more about it when you’re ready.” She said, ‘I’m ready now.” I kissed her forehead, “No, you’re not. But you might be someday.”